Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Exclusive Ruby Bentall Interview

Ruby Bentall, Verity, Poldark
Ruby at this year's National Television Awards
pic Far Far Away site
Ruby Bentall captured our hearts as the overlooked and put upon Verity in Poldark, indeed the phrase 'poor Verity' was trending in the UK during the second episode's airing. Ruby was born in London in 1988 to actor parents, Janine Duvitski and Paul Bentall. She has been acting since 2006, most notably in Lark Rise to Candleford and as Mary Bennet in Lost in Austen. Ruby has performed in theatre as well as on screen, taking the title role in Alice in Wonderland at The Sheffield Crucible in 2010 as well as several appearances in the West End. Ruby kindly agreed to answer some questions for us before flying off to Poland and Prague for filming on new projects.

Poldarked: What attracted you to the role of Verity and what do you think has made Poldark such a success?
Ruby Bentall: I think Poldark is a success because people like good old fashioned relationship dramas. Poldark has it all, love, hate, family problems, class divides.

Ruby Bentall, Verity, Poldark
Ruby as Verity Poldark
pic BBC One
P: Blamey's chat up lines about shipping gave the audience quite a giggle, did you find the scene funny to film and did you ever find out what a spanker boom was?
RB: Every scene you do with Richard is a laugh. He is a naughty funny person, very Welsh. That ball scene was the only scene I had to try and show Verity falling in love. So I just tried to make it as sweet and romantic as possible. I never properly found out what a spanker boom is!

P: Do you think Blamey was really a good match for Verity (especially given his background) or did she just jump at her first and possibly only chance of marriage?
RB: I'm not sure, I think if you don't have much attention, it is very easy to fall for anybody who is nice to you. So in some ways I think anyone who came along she would have fallen for. But I do think Blamey was right for her, she is good at helping people and is use to looking after people. I maybe would have liked her to be with someone who didn't need her, but just wanted her.


Ruby Bentall, Verity, Poldark
Ruby as a happy Verity with true love,
Captain Blamey (Richard Harrington)
pic BBC One
P: Verity becomes quite rebellious in series 1, do you think this is a natural part of her character, like Ross, or something forced on her by circumstance?
RB: Verity is a strong person but I don't think rebellious. She would have preferred to not go against her family. She didn't enjoy hurting her family to get what she wanted. But I love that she is a romantic who will follow her heart even if she has to be selfish.

P: Verity appears throughout the books. How do you feel about playing a character that ages like that through a series and what challenges does that present to you as an actor?
RB: It's a bit of a worry, the ageing thing. I have a youthful face. I think some of my costumes for the second series make me look a bit older, I have tried to slow my natural speech speed down. Not sure how different we can look, I don't think we should start trying to age ourselves up with make up it would look stupid.

Ruby Bentall, Verity, Poldark
Looking glam, a far cry from Verity.
pic by Dan Wooller
P: Mark Atkinson of Atkinson Action Horses tells us you're a very good rider, but did the riding pose any challenges for you?
RB: I rode all through my childhood, but side saddle is completely different. I'm naturally easy around horses so that is to my advantage, but with side saddle the balance is totally different so I didn't feel very good at it.

P: You’ve done a lot of period work, but which genre would you love to do if you had the choice of anything?
RB: I don't have a particular genre in mind. I just want to play three-dimensional people and interesting characters.

P: What’s the best and worst thing about being an actor?
RB:The worst thing about being an actor is the heartache. All you want to do is work. But you spend most of the time being rejected and feeling sad about being unemployed.
The best thing is when you are doing a well written scene with another actor and for a moment you can forget all the stressful filming things around you, and just act. It's usually only for a few minutes but it can be wonderful.

P: You were involved in the Body Positive Campaign, how did that come about and why did you feel it was important to be involved?
RB: The Body Positive Campaign came about as they were looking for people in the public eye who were not conventionally attractive. I thought it was a good cause so was happy to do it. It's an important message they are trying to get across, it's a sad thing that so many of us are made to feel less as people because of the way society tells us we should look.

P: We’ve seen you in Jekyll and Hyde recently as well as Poldark, but what’s up next for you?
RB: I'm going to Poland to do a few days on a film called Bikini Blue and then Prague for a week to do a bit on a film called Interlude in Prague.

Ruby Bentall, Verity, Poldark
Verity looking troubled
pic from Masterpiece PBS
You can follow Ruby on Twitter @RubyBentall 

Ruby's interview with the BBC on Verity
Poldark's leading ladies revealed.

Please remember to credit Poldarked when sharing this interview.

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